Overnight, 500 million people with varying debilitating health conditions in India are set to receive free health insurance, a manna for the poorest of the poor in one of the world’s most populous countries. Indian citizens living below the poverty line will no longer pay for healthcare services at private hospitals. Until now, such treatments have sent families into crippling financial liabilities.
Known as Modicare – after Prime Minister Narendra Modi – the scheme is undoubtedly the world’s biggest and most ambitious health insurance scheme and will cover such conditions as sickle cell anaemia, malaria and tuberculosis as well as for surgical interventions.
Critics say it is an electioneering move to get Modi back in government house in 2019. Officers of the Indian Medical Association have also complained about the funding inadequacies of such a gargantuan scheme.
Outside Africa, India has the highest population of citizens with sickle cell disorder.
(photo: Shri N. Modi, www.pmindia.gov.in)